Date/Time Event
Wednesday, 22nd February
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Cancelled - LGBT organising and the police: a discussion

Sorry to say this event has been cancelled due to some of the speakers being taken ill. Apologies for any inconvenience.


“Recent history has seen police involvement growing over forms of politics that have traditionally been self-organised and grassroots led, with feminist and LGBT organisations increasingly reaching out to the police for funding and support. This event will take a critical look at historical and present partnerships between police and grassroots LGBT organisations, and ask: what are the implications of giving the police a seat at the table for grassroots organisations? Who wins and who loses from police involvement in our communities and our social movements?” A discussion led by local LGBT activists.

Free admission. Refreshments available.
Please reserve your place at
Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Monday, 27th February
7:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Five Leaves' Book Group - John Berger's Ways of Seeing
WaysofseeingcvrWays of Seeing, first published in 1972 and never out of print since changed the way people thought about paiting and art criticism. How do we then read paintings? And what do we mean by beauty, truth, form, class and gender and how these are represented in art.
John Berger died in December, aged 90. He also wrote memoir, fiction and poetry. Feel free to also bring along samples of this work.
Free, including refreshments. Please book your place via


Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Tuesday, 28th February
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
The Song of the Stork, Stephan Collishaw - Book Launch

songofthestorkFifteen-year-old Yael is on the run. The Jewish girl seeks shelter from the Germans on the farm of the village outcast. Aleksei is mute and solitary, but as the winter advances, he reluctantly takes her in and a delicate relationship develops. As her feelings towards Aleksei change, the war intrudes and Yael joins a Jewish partisan group fighting in the woods. The Song of the Stork is Yael’s story of love, hope and survival. It is the story of one woman finding a voice as the voices around her are extinguished.

Stephan Collishaw works in Nottingham as a teacher. He jointly runs Noir Press, translating Lithuanian fiction. He previous two books are also set in Eastern Europe.

Free. Please reserve your place via

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Thursday, 2nd March
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Derrick Buttress 1932-2016

d-buttressAn evening of readings and reminiscences to celebrate the life and work of a much-admired poet, memoirist and writer of short fiction, whose work is rooted in Nottingham, the city where he was born and lived all his life.

Admission is free and refreshments will be provided.

Please reserve your place at

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Tuesday, 7th March
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Rescuing refugees, with Alva White and Tony Simpson

alva whiteAlva White gives eyewitness testimony from Aquarius, an MSF boat searching for and rescuing people in the Mediterranean Sea. Why do these people risk their lives in this way?

“This is where we meet people: in international waters around 25 nautical miles from the Libyan coast. They are always in boats that have no capacity to make the voyage on which they are embarked. Maria told us the day she was rescued was one of the most beautiful days of her life…

Tony 6

She left Cameroon with three other friends. They crossed the Sahara Desert with smugglers. Only two survived the dangerous journey. On arrival in Libya, she and her friend were forced into prostitution. They were told if they had sex with a certain number of men they would earn places on the flimsy, overcrowded, unseaworthy boat where we met them. The men beat them, she told us. Only Maria made it safely to our rescue boat.”

Tony Simpson, editor of The Spokesman journal, asks what part does climate change play in driving people from their homes.

Alva has been working on the MV Aquarius, a humanitarian search and rescue ship patrolling in the Mediterranean Sea, operated by SOS MEDITERRANEE and Médecins sans Frontières.

Tickets: £3.00 including refreshments. All proceeds to MSF

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Wednesday, 8th March
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Irish Republican Women, with Azrini Wahidin
Azrini-WahidinThis talk will discuss women’s involvement in the Irish Republican Army, political protest and the prison experience in Northern Ireland. Through the voices of female and male combatants, it demonstrates that women remained marginal in the examination of imprisonment during the Conflict and in the negotiated peace process. However, the book shows that women performed a number of roles in war and peace that placed constructions of femininity in dissent.
Azrini Wahidin is the author of Ex-combatants, gender and the peace process in Northern Ireland – women, the prison experience and political protest. She is Professor in Criminology and Criminal Justice at Nottingham Trent University.
In association with Nottingham Irish Studies Group.
An International Women’s Day event.
Tickets: £3 on the door, but please let us know you are coming on
Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Saturday, 11th March
11:00 am - 5:00 pm
States of Independence

This year’s States of Independence is our eighth. It’s a book festival in a day, a marketplace, a conference, a chance to relax and listen to some readings, an opportunity to argue about issues in the industry and to meet with independent presses from across the region.

States of Independence supports independent thinking, independent writing and independent presses. Join us for the day or an hour. Attend lots of events – you will be spoiled for choice – or just one, or simply come along and browse through the twenty or so bookstalls to see what the independent sector is publishing.

As always there are poetry and fiction readings and industry panels discussing current hot topics – this year focusing on independent literary magazines. Poets include Henry Normal and David Morley

Non-fiction wanders from British Palestine to John Clare’s escape from an asylum, via the political power of music, reminiscences about being gay in the 80s, and how to talk about poetry. And we look at the Russian Revolution, 100 years on.

States of Independence is a free event, underwritten by Five Leaves Bookshop in Nottingham and the Centre for Creative Writing at De Montfort University, with the support of over fifty writers and over thirty presses.

The full programme is on

Venue: De Montford University, Leicester
Wednesday, 15th March
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Poetry of the Irish in Britain with Cathy Galvin and Deirdre O'Byrne

Deirde O’Byrne will read from the work of Maura Dooley, Ian Duhig, Eavan Boland, Bernard O’Donoghue and Catherine Byron, with commentary and Cathy Galvin will read her own poetry, primarily from Rough Translation – described by David Constantine as being about “the sea, islands, coastal places,  family who lived very differently from how we do now, the loving connection with them”, Cathy Galvin’s Irish family past.
In association with Nottingham Irish Studies Group

Tickets: £3 on the door, but please let us know you are coming on

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Thursday, 16th March
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Specters of Revolt, with Richard Gilman-Opalsky
spectres of revoltIn 1848 Marx said that a communist spectre was haunting Europe… Gilman-Opalsky argues that the world is  haunted by revolt, but not as Marx imagined it – from the Mexican Zapatistas through to the Arab Spring and the streets of Ferguson and Baltimore the streets have come alive… Gilman-Opalsky explores these upheavals, the intellect of insurrection and philosophy from below.
Because of the earlier time we will be open from 6.00 if you want to come early and have a cup of tea.
Tickets £3.00. Please reserve your place via
Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Wednesday, 22nd March
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Gay in the 80s revisited, with Colin Clews and Jim McSweeney
Hard copy Book Front Cover by Kevin FranklinColin Clews used to live in Nottingham where he was involved in the 1984/85 Miner’s Strike, Nottingham’s early response to HIV/AIDS and the campaign to get Nottingham Labour Party to take up lesbian and gay rights. He is the author of Gay in the 80s: from fighting for our rights to fighting for our lives.


Jim McSweeney joined London’s Gays the Word Bookshop in 1989 and still works there. His talk will cover his own emergence into the gay scene as a young man in the 80s, as well as describing those heady days from the Bookshop’s point of view including the changes in LGBT writing and publishing since then.

gays the word

Admission for this event will be £3 and refreshments will be provided
Please RSVP to
Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Tuesday, 28th March
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Creeping Fascism? Brexit, Trump and the rise of the new right

Speaker: Neil Faulkner, followed by group discussions

Neil will give an introduction to the rise of the new right based on his book, Creeping Fascism: Brexit, Trump and the rise of the far right. Then we’ll break down into groups to discuss the issues and come together at the end.

 We’ll have open, free flowing discussion to inform our future actions.

The rise of the far right across the western world followed the 2008 recession. There are striking similarities with the 1930s, when racism and xenophobia were used to direct anger against scapegoats. Trump’s election threatens all of the liberties we’ve fought for over the last 40 years.

LGBT+ people could see their rights removed by a right wing Trump establishment intent on preserving the sanctity of heterosexual marriage. Trump’s policies towards women’s reproductive rights mark the beginning of a retreat from equality. His comments about women show his disdain for half the population. His appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the supreme court could threaten the legal right of American women to abortion.

Most worrying of all, his Muslim Travel Ban shows he follows in the footsteps of his 1930s forebears.

In response, millions of people have marched, picketed and demonstrated worldwide. 94 major businesses in America have come out against their Government as has most of the cultural sector. Women, ethnic minorities and environmentalists have been at the heart of the opposition. This is a fight we can win.

Free, no ticket required but let us know you are coming on

Venue: Nottingham Mechanics Institute, Nottingham
Wednesday, 29th March
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Poetry from Colin Herd

colin herdColin Herd is a Scottish poet and writer of fiction. He has performed his work widely, including at Rich Mix Arts Centre, The Fruitmarket Gallery, Gay’s the Word Bookshop, Edinburgh University, Lancaster University and The Edinburgh International Book Festival. In 2014, ‘Glovebox’ was highly commended in the Forward Prizes.

“Colin Herd’s ‘too ok‘ is a treasure trove of razzle-dazzle stylings, superfine wit, charismatic discretion, and a vacuuming tenderness. Herd’s gift for words is exquisite and adventurous and armed to the teeth, and these poems are its perfect measurements” Dennis Cooper

In association with the School of English, University of Nottingham

Admission for this event will be £3 and refreshments will be provided
Please RSVP to

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Friday, 31st March
7:30 pm - 11:30 pm
Launch Party - Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor

res 13A week ahead of the official publication date, Jon will be taking over the Cafebar at Contemporary and celebrating the launch of his new novel, Reservoir 13. And he wants YOU to be there. It’s been seven years since he published a novel; you bet there’s going to be a party.
After a reading at 8pm, there’ll be drinks and dancing from 9pm onwards, with live music from Swing Gitan, and the chance to buy copies of the book all night long.
Free admission, doors at 7.30pm, arrive early to avoid disappointment. And bring your dancing shoes.

Info about the novel here:

Event page here:

With thanks to 4th Estate, Five Leaves Books, and Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature.

Venue: Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham
Wednesday, 5th April
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Inhale, exhale, repeat, with Emma Mills
emmamillsCreate a mindful day with easy meditations based on poetry. Tips, take-away meditations, readings form part of this participatory evening. No need to go on expensive retreats, digital detoxes, make a start with an evening in the bookshop!

Emma Mills was director of literature for bibliotherapy at Mind for five years and now runs a private practice. Her book Inhale. Exhale. Repeat. will have just been published.


£3.00 including light refreshments.

Booking essential for this event as we will limit capacity

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Friday, 21st April - Sunday, 30th April
All Day
Nottingham Poetry Festival

Full details to follow

Venue: Antenna, Nottingham
Saturday, 22nd April
2:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Feminist publishing - then, now and in the future

fempubWhy are there now only 2 feminist publishing houses (Virago and Honno) in the UK when there were many more in the 80s? Yet, given technological changes, it’s easier to set up an independent publisher than it has ever been. Men’s books are still much more likely to be published and reviewed than those by women.

The Panel:
Ailah Ahmed is a commissioning editor at Little, Brown Book Group. She works across two imprints: Little, Brown/Abacus and Virago. Ailah acquires fiction and non-fiction as well as works in translation. She has held editorial positions at Simon & Schuster UK and Canongate Books (where she published the The Man Booker Prize for Fiction shortlisted A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki). She tweets @ailahahmed.

Debbie Taylor is Editor of the women writers’ magazine Mslexia, one of the most successful literary magazines in the UK.

Zoe Fairbairns, whose novels have been published by feminist presses including Virago, mainstream presses including Penguin, and radical presses including Five Leaves.  She teaches creative writing at City Lit, London.  Her website is at

Our panel of speakers will look at the gender issues around publishing, reflect on the achievements of the 80s and look at the options for effecting permanent change.  Come and join in the discussion.

Admission will be £5 (£4 cons.)
The Mechanics institute has a bar adjacent for refreshments.

Venue: Nottingham Mechanics Institute, Nottingham
Thursday, 11th May - Sunday, 14th May
All Day
Bread and Roses - Five Leaves' annual mini-festival
Full details to follow


Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Thursday, 11th May
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Shoestring Book Launches with Neil Fulwood, Renee Parker and Robert Etty
A Bread and Roses event
Free but please reserve your place via
Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Saturday, 13th May
10:30 am - 5:00 pm
Bread and Roses bookfair

with radical booksellers (new and second-hand) and publishers from around the country.

Free. No need to book

Venue: Nottingham Mechanics Institute, Nottingham
Wednesday, 24th May
11:00 am - 4:30 pm
Lowdham Book Festival's "last Saturday" bookfair and events for adults and children
Full details to follow
Venue: Lowdham Book Festival, Lowdham Nottinghamshire